A collection of 7 tunes that never made it to any other album. Features Belinda Subraman on vocals and the guitar of Phil Ogison. Vocals by Arzathon can be heard on When the Spirits Sings and In the Dead of Night. Haunting industrial sounds with heavy drum/bass groove. God Saves - Not! is faster and in a heavy rock style with distorted metal guitar and lively bassline/drum riffs. Soundbites start around half way through - "God saves!" The heavy rock style is carried to the next track, Float, though less prominent, which also has soundbites by Belinda Subraman. Water, Shelter has a relaxing soundscape of guitar grooves and some effective echo effects. The final track, The Afflicted, is also the longest one and contains a bright synth with bluesy bassline. Although a collection of odd tracks, these 7 tracks still manage to blend together well, and the music is just as enjoyable as anything else by Arzathon.
- Andy Bruce, Autumn 2014
Mother Heart's Sorrow
7-track album with a bonus CD of 4 remixes. The first track, which is called Jack in the Box, is a contrasting mix of eastern chanting and industrial sounds. The next two tracks are slower and more reflective. The strong melodies of Forest Far from Civilization blend well with the atmospheric chanting and the slow steady beat. The remainder of the album is mostly faster and has stronger grooves. The Pale Moonlight stands out as a slower and hypnotic track, with a "We want peace" soundbite. The remixes have more soundbites in them, while Barriers of Self (evolved mix) is made up of only soundbites - "silence, indifference, ghetto, genocide, discrimination, persecution." Freedom for expression (evolved mix) has soundbites about poverty and political oppression set against a quiet background of a single sound.
- Andy Bruce, Autumn 2014
In Bed with Demo-Crazy
An album that is strongly influenced by Kraftwerk and Krautrock. The rhythms are strong and there are lots of audio snippets with a political/protest theme. Stereo panning effects and sweeping flanger sounds give a trippy quality. The first two tracks are slow and mellow, and the opening track, And When..., at 11m04s is the longest on the album. Soundbite of a human rights speech - "When one man is enslaved, all are not free..." Meanwhile has spooky music and audio clips - "God is air." The waltz time and acoustic bass give it a classical influence. The lengthy, Is There - Somewhere, begins a faster, stronger rhythm with trippy repeating keyboard riff. In Bed with Demo-Crazy introduces a psychedelic flanger effect, which is used to good effect again in the bluesy final track, Rigid Justice Knows its Own.
- Andy Bruce, Summer 2014
The Fox and the Flies
Lively title track starts the album, with a funky rhythm and guitar and a "he didn't kill Kennedy" soundbite. The Words of Los has a soundbites about "the green fairy" and deep, rhythmic bass. Builders of Golgonooza is another reference to the writings of William Blake. Humanity in Deadly Sleep has mellow grooves and an ambient synth. Man Made Mad sounds like a reworking of The Words of Los. The final two tracks are quieter, with atmospheric soundscapes of radio edits. Gentle rhythms dominate Custom Made Morals. At 3.38, the final track, Barking Man is the shortest on the album and relies only on hypnotic soundbites for its effect.
- Andy Bruce, Spring 2014
Disorder of Thinking
Influenced by the Krautrock style of German band, Can, from the Krautrock era, this is Arzathon's nod to the Krautrock masters. Deep, rolling, electronic bassline and spacious soundscape of chanting and tribal rhythms in "Thou Didst Sleep as a Mortal Man" open this 4-track album. The repetitive music and soundbites, and spacey keyboard of "How little We Learnt In 200 years are almost hypnotic. "Walk on the Other Side" has stronger percussion, with groovy licks and bass. Undiscernable background chatter adds to the hypnotic and rhymic effect. Last track, which is called "Blood of the Lamb", begins with tribal chanting and ends with a church-like soundscape of praise. Blues rhythm carried by a river of sound. This album is a pleasant blending of the Can style and Arzathon's audio sculptured psychedelia.
- Andy Bruce, Autumn 2013
Dreaming the World Into Being
More ambient than Arzathon's other albums,this whole album has a New Age quality with a classical influence. The titles suggest the various kingdoms in nature and the different streams of spiritual evolution. Maybe we are all part of a dream that brings the world into being. The opener is a mixture of ambient, spacey synth and violin playing the melody, with cello bassline, and a mysterious otherworldly soundbite. Next track, "The First Plain - The Stone People", has echoey synth effects. Onto "The Second Plain - the Plant People" - a distant synth cries out. "The Third Plain - The Animal Spirit" sees the return of the cello, but as the lead instrument. "The Fourth Plain - The Ancestors" is the most forboding track. "The Fifth Plain - Level of the Highest" contains quiet, relaxing piano that has a jazz-bluesey feel. The shortest track of all is, "The Timeless Now", which has a stronger repetitive bassline and closes the album. Enjoyable, uplifting music to relax and meditate, or to just chill out to.
- Andy Bruce, Autumn 2013
Empire of Sensibility
Eight tracks of dream soundscapes that will guide you on a journey into your own personal dreamscape. Not the blissful dreams of New Age music, but these are slightly disturbing, though relaxing dreamscapes. With titles to conjure up the dreams, each track blends into the next, providing a continuous audio experience. "The World Behind the Wind" sets the stage for what is to follow, with a dream soundscapes featuring hypnotic industrial engine-like sounds, radio sounds and soundbites, void of instrumental music. The soundscapes are reminiscent of aircraft and radio communication. "Habitat of the Blue Bloom" contains particularly hypnotic soundbites. A suitable album to aid visualisation for meditation or just to play in the background to create a peaceful, yet alternative atmosphere.
- Andy Bruce, Autumn 2013
Cedar Hill - The Last Stronghold
8-track album about the People's Temple incident in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. Audio Sculptured Psychedelia meets dub. Strong basslines and funky guitar riffs with a laid-back, steady beat. More lively rhythms in "Eric's Lament", which has some jazzy organ. "Before the World Goes Deaf" has a reggae feel. Groovy rhythm section and rhythm guitar playing tight in in a quieter track called "Dying tongue of Boa". "Puzzles on the Inside" is a faster tempo, with rocking sax. Recurring soundbites about the great spirit. Last track "Cedar Hill - The Last Stronghold", is a 10-minute remix of an earlier track, and winds up the album.
- Andy Bruce, Summer 2013
The Cult of Reason
CD containing 7 tracks of "audio sculptured psychedelia" in MP3 format. The sleeve and CD have attractive original artwork by Arzathon. This recent release has a mystical theme, and most of the tracks have French titles, some of which are quotes taken from quatrains by the French seer, Nostradamus (quatrains 1:39, 1:42, 1:57 and 1.59). Arzathon tells me that it is about cults and the reasons people join them.
The Cult of Reason is an ambient album with strong rhythms and basslines, and a Krautrock influence, which is present in most of Arzathon's music. Funky blues guitar, tribal rhythms and oriental melodies also feature through the album. The use of soundscapes and speech samples adds to the mood of the album. Mostly laid-back and relaxed, but at times the atmosphere of this album becomes dark and threatening.
Track one begins peacefully enough with tribal rhythms, funky guitar and what sounds like a sample of a Leslie Flint recording (the celebrated direct voice medium) in Carte et Pacquet (Letter and Packet). Ms Deux Les Scintiles (Two Will Be Burnt) has an oriental musical soundscape, which is also heard in some of the other compositions. The powerful bass sounds and chanting create a tense and dramatic mood. Then the soundscape of Cherchant Les Os du Demon (Seek the Demon's Bones) introduces something more sinister. There are sounds like demons and some discordant industrial riffs. A creepy howling becomes the backdrop for Dressant la Tete (Liftiing the Face), which has an atmosphere of fear and confusion. The constantly repeated rhythm guitar riff and droning keyboard is quite hypnotic.
The sparse sounds of Et Psullus are quieter and more relaxed, with an electronic rhythm, and there are samples of speech. The unearthly sounds of tracks 3 and 4 return in Ne Seront Estez Parques le Parler (Not Sparing in Their Speech), although this audio sculpture is as quiet as Et Psullus. Yet the bassline and drums are strongly featured, and there is some more funky guitar. The final track on the album, titled The Cult of Reason, brings a bright, anarchistic and lively ending to the album, with clear funky synth sounds and a news report sample about marijuana laws.
I enjoyed this album, which is In Arzathon's usual atmospheric, deep and dreamy style. Maybe it is the first time that Nostradamus has been set to music. If you enjoy experimental ambient music with some mystery and a message, then this album about cults is well worth adding to your collection, and as it says on the cover "smokin' enhances the experience" of this audio sculptured psychedelia. Music to chill out, daydream and escape to for a while.
- Andy Bruce, Winter 2012
The Dropout Symphony
The Dropout Symphony is a lengthy mix of an 8-track CD that comes with a bonus CD of five remixes. These CDs will take the listener on an audio journey of almost one-and-a-half hours of psychedelic audio sculptured pleasure. Arzathon's symphony of experimental, ambient music is dedicated to the dropout -- not only about the dropout who has rejected conventional society, but also the bohemian, spiritual, or the artistic dropout and the dreamer in search of alternative realities.
This is a very funky album and, as usual, the compositions are quite long. There is lots of chanting, and plenty of soundbites and mystical references.The bonus CD contains three remixes of the title track, The Dropout Symphony. Timothy Leary popularised the term 'dropout' during the cultural revolution of the 1960s in the well-known phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out". It encouraged people to dropout of convention lifestyle and explore a new way of living. The audio sculptures on this album inherit much of the quality of the 1960's alternative dropout philosophy.
The album begins with the soundbite "The war against marijuana was lost thirty years ago". The chanting and funkiness begin. Next, Am I Alone In Thinking introduces a witchcraft soundbite. The theme of Hanging On By a Thread is Hopi indian prophecies over a backdrop of Indians chanting. Something different that stands out is a recurring house keyboard riff. More campaigning for marijuana legalisation turns up in A Vision of Eternity, where it is proclaimed that "This is a wonder plant". There are some further mystical ramblings in Auguries of Innocence with lots of funky guitar. It seems as though someone is foretelling the future. Following this is a tune devoted to Absinthe, The Green Fairy, which has become a symbol of the dropout and bohemians of 1890's Paris, who were poets and artists in search of artistic liberty. They drank Absinthe for the artistic inspiration it gave them. The Green Fairy is a very ambient tune with an arpeggio played on guitar as the main riff. The penultimate track has an oriental atmosphere with oriental music and singing. There are soundbites about drugs and the occult. The funky guitar and oriental music make an interesting mixture. The title track, The Dropout Symphony, is dominated by a strong industrial rhythm, which is the final and longest track of the album.
The first sculpture on the Bonus CD is a remix of The Dropout Symphony called the Sunset Mix. The sound is more powerful with increased percussion and some industrial style guitar. The introduction of a sitar gives it a taste of India and the mystical, which is a contrast to the industrial and rock drumming. The industrial influence continues in Auguries of Innocence -- On the Good Earth, which has a bright, funky drum rhythm. The next remix of The Dropout Symphony contains lots of chanting (Chant Voxmix). The remix of The Easy Thing has more rhythm and chanting than the original. Finally, the sitar returns in the Bare Bones Mix of The Dropout Symphony, rounding off the Bonus CD with some additional creepy drumming.
Another great album from Arzathon in his usual chilled-out, trippy style of mellow grooves, blended with soundscapes, audio bites, and mystery. The Dropout Symphony's ambient relaxing music will help you to escape from the mundane world. The perfect album for those who want to turn on, tune in and drop out ...
- Andy Bruce, Winter 2012
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